Getting What God Wants Us To Get From Islam: Creating Safe Spaces

First Khutbah – Main Points

What do we want from Islam? We seldom ask this question. What does Allah want us to get from Islam? And in the negotiation of these two questions, how do we go about making this a reality?

Piety, to a large extent, has been replaced by such plastic words as “tradition”. This word has garnered so much attention in recent years that Muslims are beginning to identify themselves as “traditional Muslims”. But my question is: what is “traditional Islam”? Often what is deemed to be traditional is expressed in modes of dress, pious affectation, perhaps even cuisine. Allah has a different definition of piety:

ليس البر أن تولوا وجوهكم قبل المشرق والمغرب

ولكن البر من ءامن بالله واليوم الآخر والملائكة والكتاب والنبئين…

“Piety is not the turning of your face to the East or the West. No, piety is the one who is secure in his belief of God and the Last Day, the Angles, the Book and the Prophets…”

[Q: 2:177]

الذين ءامنوا ولم يلبسوا إيمانهم بظلم اولئك لهم الأمن وهم مهتدون

“Those who profess faith and do not wear their faith on their sleeve, security is their reward. They are the rightly guided.”

[Q: 6:82]

The downside to all of this is that we often create psychological spaces were people do not feel safe to grow as Muslims. This plays on people’s religious sensibilities and in fact, when they do not stand up to this comparison, they may be afflicted with doubt and uncertainty. Continue reading

Finding Our Moral Compass

Finding Our Moral Compass is a two-part lecture regarding the fundamental principles of Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf) and a discussion of the stations of certitude (maqamat al-yaqin) based on the work of ‘Abd al-Wahid b. ‘Ashir, Al-Murshid Al-Mu’in, with additional insights taken from Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali’s, Garden of the Seekers and Reliance of the Travelers (Rawdat al-Talibin wa ‘Umdat al-Salikin).

The text for this lecture is based on al-Murshid Al-Mu’in ‘ala al-Daruri min ‘Ulum al-Din (The Helpful Guide to Essential Religious Knowledge) has been studied by Maliki students of Morocco for over 3 centuries. The author is ‘Abd Al-Wahid b. ‘Ashir (1040 AH/1631 CE), a versatile scholar from Fes, Morocco. This work covers the fundamentals of the three pivotal topics of the Islamic teachings: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan (practice, belief, and ethics). Our focus will be in the third area (Ihsan). In particular, we will concentrate on what Ibn ‘Ashir terms ‘The stations of certitude’ (maqamat al-yaqin) after an introduction into the principles of the Islamic conception of moral refinement.

Shaykh Abdullah Ali’s lectures are an excellent opportunity for Muslims looking to expand their depth of understanding of Islam as well as glean some insights on how to elevate their practice of the religion.